If you look at a map of the Kintyre Peninsula you will see that it is almost an island. It appears to be hanging from the mainland by a thread. Tarbert lies at the eastern end of this "thread" or isthmus, which is just one mile across, while West Tarbert is at the other end of it. Once upon a time boats were dragged overland between the two. Tarbert used to be an important herring port, serving the herring industry of nearby Loch Fyne. This activity has since disappeared, but the harbour is still used by fishing boats for unloading their catches. The other maritime activity of note is sailing, and Tarbert hosts Scotland's biggest regatta each May. Visitors can board the heritage paddle steamer Waverley at Tarbert for Loch Fyne boat trips. From the harbour a footpath leads to the ruins of the 12th century Tarbert Castle, romantically covered in ivy. The castle, which was built by Robert I of Scotland, is a reminder of the time when Tarbert occupied a strategic position defending the approaches to Kintyre and the Inner Hebrides. Tarbert is something of a festival town, as in addition to the regatta there are also a number of festivals held each year, including a Seafood Festival, a Music Festival and a Book Festival.
Map of the area.
© 2010 Andrew Wood, via Wikimedia Commons